I have a confession to make… I have no idea goes on in a man’s mind. Shocking, I know. It’s for this very reason that I’m hesitant to read a book written from a guy’s POV in first person. I’m always afraid I won’t be able to connect with the character, or that I won’t understand his thought processes behind his decisions because he’s a dude and I’m not. But, I spend all day with an 18mo and I crave a little adventure in my life, so when we were approached about participating in the blog tour I said “heck, why not? I’ll give it a try!” And so I did.
Jason is in the middle of getting his lunch handed to him when he hears the strangest thing: a woman’s voice calling out, sounding suspiciously like it’s coming from inside his own head. Days later, Jason wakes up completely healed in a monastery in the middle of nowhere. If it wasn’t for the lovely face he wakes up to, he would have bolted the instant he woke up. Instead, he waits until the monks tell him a crazy story about how he’s a vessel for old souls reaching back thousands of years, and then bolts. It’s then that the woman who saved him before speaks up, and tells him everything the monks told him was true. The voice in his mind introduces herself as Erin, and tells him that his physical body does indeed house thousands of souls. Jason isn’t your typical oldsoul either, he’s the Ancient of Days, the one prophesied to bring an end to the war between the oldsouls and their bitter enemy, the Athanatos.
Jason immediately begins training to fight, and is soon sent out on his first mission. He is tasked with killing a powerful Athanatos, but the plan goes awry when Jason and his crew are ambushed. They do kill the intended target, but Mela (the lovely face from above) is kidnapped, and Jason ends up in the clutches of someone from his past. It seems the monks weren’t entirely up front with the status of the war, and the lines blur as enemies become friends, and friends become enemies.
I had a few issues with the book, but thankfully none of them were gender related. I enjoyed Jason’s character for the most part. He was a likeable guy, but he didn’t invoke strong feelings of passion or anything. He had a sarcastic sense of humor that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t, and he was a lot like that awkward guy in class that is really nice, but will never go beyond the “strictly a lab partner” line. The world and premise of the story was unique and interesting, and I enjoyed the action scenes and the twists.
I struggled with the writing style. It was choppy, and what could have been said in one or two sentences was said in five. Can sentences be too short? If so, then that was definitely the problem here. Ex: They walked to the car. They got in the car. They drove to the warehouse. They each received duffel bags full of weapons… and so on and so forth. When I’m reading a book, I don’t want to be bothered with the writing style, grammatical errors or other editing issues. I want to be taken away from my mundane life into that of the fantastical and make-believe. Unfortunately, Oldsoul didn’t achieve that for me.
And the romance. Dear heavens. I use that term loosely, by the way, since I wouldn’t use that word to describe the relationship between Jason and Mela. First of all, she hardly gets any page time, which means she hardly ever gets face-to-face time with Jason. By the end of the story all I know about her (and what I know is based on what Jason knows) is that her favorite color is dark gray, and she’s good with a bow and arrow. That’s it. As an avid romance reader, it’s difficult to believe in the love story when I don’t know the characters or feel the chemistry. I would have much preferred the story if they had been friends instead of a couple, or if the romance part had been taken out all together. Although, since Jason’s motto was “save the world, get the girl” I’m not quite sure how not having a girl would have worked out.
My Summary: I wanted Oldsoul to be a success, I really did. The author has created such a unique and interesting world, and it has such potential. I just couldn’t ignore the fluidity issues in style, and the romance needed to have a bit more back bone. I probably could have moved past the lack of romance, if not for the fact that most of Jason’s decisions were based on Mela’s status and safety. It just wasn’t believable. While Oldsoul didn’t work for me, I would definitely recommend giving it a shot and forming your own opinion. Who knows, maybe this author’s particular writing style is what you’ve been looking for.
My Rating: C